The New York Yankees have high hopes for their young prospect, Jasson Dominguez, despite the setback of his recent Tommy John surgery. His anticipated recovery will take at least nine months, putting his earliest possible return around June of 2024.
While Dominguez might be able to start hitting before a full recovery, the Yankees currently don’t have a spot open for him on their roster. With Giancarlo Stanton secured as their designated hitter, Dominguez can take his time recovering and later claim a starting position in the outfield.
The Left Field vs. Center Field Debate
Dominguez’s skills may make him a better fit for left field than centerfield. Although he boasts a strong arm, he might not have the finesse that players like Harrison Bader brought to centerfield. Consequently, the Yankees might be more inclined to look for another player, such as Kevin Kiermaier, to take over the position for the 2024 season.
Given the current void in their left field position, the Yankees have a few options: sign a free agent, execute a trade deal, or hold the fort until Dominguez is ready.
However, Dominguez’s performance this past season shows he can quickly make an impact. In a brief stint with the Yankees, over just eight games, he hit impressively. He demonstrated significant power and discipline, making his future with the Yankees even more promising.
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Positioning for the Long Term
Considering Dominguez’s youth and potential, the Yankees might consider placing him in left field to prevent any defensive issues. If they decide to pursue someone like Juan Soto in a trade, they could easily move Dominguez back to centerfield, balancing their outfield defense with their powerful offense.
Another interesting proposition might be to move Aaron Judge to the center. However, with concerns about his health and the additional exertion the position requires, this idea might be a stretch. Judge’s capabilities and self-expectations could drive him to take on centerfield, especially if there are doubts about Dominguez’s immediate return to his pre-surgery form.
The Yankees’ Case for Kiermaier
Bringing Kevin Kiermaier on board seems like a sensible move for the Yankees. The 33-year-old veteran brings solid defensive skills to the table. Last season, his offensive stats were respectable, and despite his age, he continues to showcase his athletic prowess. A short-term deal with Kiermaier could solidify the Yankees’ outfield defense and pave the way for Dominguez to take over left field by the end of 2024.